Australia billionaire suggests letting prisoners pay for freedom
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's richest person Gina Rinehart has suggested that non-violent prisoners could pay their way out of jail and become tax-paying workers to boost the economy.
In a column for the Australian Resources and Investment magazine, the mining heiress said the country needed more workers as the population ages, and getting criminals back into the workforce would bolster tax revenues.
"Let them pay to get out of prison or not enter prison (a new source of revenue), and let them be part of the tax-paying workforce," she wrote in the September issue.
Ms Rinehart, who has mining and media interests, said a similar system was used in the US state of Texas and had proved a more humane, cost-effective and successful way of dealing with non-violent prisoners.